When people ask what happened to my arm, I tell them about the fight I had with a white supremacist. “You think this is bad,” I say, “you should see the other guy.” Ba-dum-dum.
Most people who know me don’t question whether this story is true. “Nice!” they say, not at all surprised. Most people who don’t know me also don’t question whether this story is true. “Were you at a Trump rally?” they ask, not at all surprised. Oh, and the racists who’ve heard me say this just stare at me, speechless. Blink, blink go their beady eyes.
This is the current happy climate in which we now live: Cloudy with a chance of frogs falling from the sky.
I may be a fighter, but I’m not so much a physical one. I have a tolerance for remaining in the most futile of conversations. But taking out assholes in a single bound? Only if I can do it through words.
Anyway. Three weeks ago, I fractured the fuck out of my wrist and though the above story is fun to tell for the sheer reactions to it, it is a straight-up exaggeration. Which is to say it’s completely untrue. But it’s a self-serving untruth because the regular truth makes me feel like a woman withering her way toward a life of caftans, complete with deli-counter lunches of cottage cheese and lukewarm coffee.
Regardless, it doesn’t take a physicist to calculate the velocity at which I hit the ground when my three-and-three-quarter inch wedge shoe glided across the bull-nose edge of the concrete stair I was trying to walk down. For how my leg came out from under me, I might as well have stepped on a valley of banana peels. Had there been a bystander anywhere in the vicinity, they would have reported seeing a cartoon disaster complete with whirly-gig sound effects, a big ker-SPLAT! and tweety birds chirping, doing circles above my head as the poof of dust slowly cleared.
I knew it was bad as soon as I’d hit. The epic bruise on my left butt cheek the next morning was a deep purple testament to that. But it was the unfamiliar bend of my wrist in that moment that confirmed my dire situation. A wrist is not supposed to zig-zag that way.
And why did this happen, you may ask? Well. Let me just say this: I’m a modern woman who pretends I’m not so busy but who is ridiculously, stupidly, ominously busy. As if being busy is out of my control. As if busyness has happened to me like an autoimmune disease or Cox internet service regularly sucking balls.
I’m so busy that I have 194 unread emails in my personal account at any given time. I’m so busy that I forget sometimes to close the garage door or turn off the bathroom lights or put on underwear when I leave the house. I’m so busy that I tend to lose track of time and end up racing around so as not to be late for (fill-in-the-blank) like I was on the evening of Radial Fracture 2016. So take the message I was so generously given by the universe as your own: Slow down.
So, there I was, looking fly in my kimono (caftanlite?) and skinny jeans, breathless and flipped out. I was a hot mess. But! I was an independent hot mess and as such, I got in my whip and hyperventilated as I single-handedly drove myself to the emergency room while listening to Hamilton.
And this is where things get really good. Vanessa and Calvin at the UC San Diego radiology department were holding. It. Down.
They were cool as hell even though I wanted to punch them in their collective teeth as I had to move my hand all over the place to get the images they needed. Like I said, I’m a lover not a fighter, so I concentrated on Vanessa talking about the evils of menopause. I don’t remember what those specific evils were since I was dealing with pain that went to 11.
A bit later, a humorless doctor wheeled into my room a contraption straight out of Ramsey Bolton’s torture closet, announced that the bone was misaligned, and stated that he would need to reduce it. That’s medispeak for I’m-going-to-move-the-pieces-of-your-radius-around-until-they-are-aligned-again.
So, yeah. They say “reduce the fracture” because it’s as innocuous as a new mother saying she needs to burp the baby.
Now, if a doctor wants to get me on his side, a little humor goes a long way. But if there is a party spectrum, and Vanessa and Calvin are at the get-out-the-blow end, this doctor was about five tick marks beyond the defined endpoint of the cocaine-is-really-bad-for-you other end.
Even with some Norco and a few shots of lidocaine given directly into the fracture site (and no, Dr. No Discernable Personality, it didn’t feel like a mere bee sting), reducing wasn’t so awesome. And in the end, there was another piece of bone that couldn’t be “reduced” without a titanium plate and eight screws.
So be warned, white supremacists and Stanford Rapists and any other dickhead–ists. I’m bionic now. You don’t want to see me when I’m angry.